January 7, 2021
7-Jan-2021

AMERICAS

Bolivia / Peru (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 6 January 2021, the Bolivian government extended a ban on entry for all inbound travelers from European countries until at least 15 February. The entry ban was initially imposed on 25 December. The measure follows the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in the U.K.

In Peru, authorities on 6 January extended an existing ban on inbound flights from Europe until at least 21 January. An indefinite suspension of flights to and from the U.K. remains in place. Foreign nationals who have visited or transited the U.K. within 14 days prior to traveling to Peru are not permitted to enter.

Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 6 January 2021, the premier of Quebec province announced a new provincewide lockdown for four weeks, or until at least 8 February, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown includes a provincewide curfew from 2000 local time (0100 UTC) to 0500 local time. Nonessential businesses and places of worship are required to suspend operations, and essential businesses — such as grocery stores – are required to close nightly at 1930 local time. Individuals breaking the curfew will be subject to fines ranging from 1,000 Canadian dollars (790 U.S. dollars) to 6,000 Canadian dollars. These measures do not apply to the autonomous northern territory of Nunavik or the James Bay area.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On the afternoon of 6 January 2021, hundreds of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed and occupied the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Clashes broke out between police officers and protesters after the latter breached the security perimeter and entered the building. Some of the protesters reached the floors of both chambers, and tear gas was used to deter protesters in the Capitol Rotunda. Police officers shot and wounded one person who later succumbed to her wounds at a hospital; at least three others also died due to the violence. Authorities deployed riot police to the Capitol, where officials discovered at least one improvised explosive device (IED). Security personnel removed the protesters from the building using non-lethal measures and arrested 52 people. Multiple members of the Capitol Police were injured during the violence, at least one of whom was taken to a hospital. The U.S. Army activated all 1,100 members of the Washington D.C. National Guard at the request of the mayor of Washington, D.C. National Guard personnel are deployed near the Capitol and other areas in the city. The nearby states of Maryland, New York and Virginia also sent their state National Guard personnel to assist law enforcement officials in the Capitol. A citywide nighttime curfew in Washington, D.C. ended at 0600 local time (1100 UTC) on 7 January, although the mayor has instituted a state of emergency through 20 January. Proceedings of the joint session of the U.S. Congress to ratify Electoral College vote totals were temporarily halted as police officers evacuated members of Congress from their chambers, ushering them to secure locations in the Capitol during the violence. The proceedings were later completed in the early morning hours of 7 January.

Elsewhere in the U.S., gatherings to protest the outcome of the 3 November 2020 election occurred at the Oregon Capitol building in Salem, where protesters clashed with police officers. At least two people were arrested during the event. Additional such demonstrations occurred at the state capitols in Georgia, Kansas, Oregon and Utah.

ASIA

Japan / China (Security threat levels – 1 / 3): On 7 January 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures due to a rising number of COVID-19 infections. The state of emergency will affect Tokyo and Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures from 8 January until 7 February. Governors of the affected areas urged residents to refrain from nonessential travel after 2000 local time (1100 UTC) and for workers to telecommute. Suga also urged residents to adhere to the governors’ requests during a news conference and requested that bars and restaurants close nightly at 2000 local time and cease serving alcohol nightly at 1900 local time. The state of emergency could be expanded nationwide or extended beyond 7 February, if infections continue to rise.

In China, authorities in Shijiazhuang – the capital of Hebei province – ordered a lockdown on 7 January in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Under the order, residents and vehicles are not allowed to leave the city until further notice. Additionally, movement within the city is restricted, and authorities are reportedly planning to conduct mass testing.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 7 January 2021, the premier of Queensland announced that travelers from the greater Sydney metropolitan area will not be able to enter the state of Queensland until the end of January, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Sydney area. Meanwhile, Queensland’s state borders will remain open to travelers from other parts of Australia. During the announcement, the premier noted that the state government is also watching COVID-19 case numbers in the state of Victoria.

EUROPE

Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 6 January 2021, authorities announced new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. During 9-31 January, travelers seeking to enter Ireland from the U.K. or South Africa will be required to provide a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within the prior 72 hours. Additionally, all primary and secondary schools are required to close during 6-31 January, while all nonessential construction will be suspended during 8-31 January.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 7 January 2021, security forces deployed tear gas in the Ngor district, located in the capital city Dakar, to disperse crowds protesting COVID-19 restrictions. During the demonstration, protesters erected barricades and blocked streets with burning tires. Similar clashes were also reported in other areas of the capital — including in the Medina and Yoff areas and in the suburbs of Pikine, Guediawaye and Thiaroye — during the evening and overnight hours of 6-7 January. There were no reports of injuries during any of the events. The protest activity occurred in response to President Macky Sall’s decision to enact a state of emergency and a nightly 2100-0500 local time/UTC curfew in Dakar and Thiès.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bermuda (Security threat level – 1): On 7 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Bermuda, which reads in part as follows:

“From 8th December, indoor facilities for bars and nightclubs have closed. Only existing outdoor bars are permitted to operate, with table service only. Furthermore, a maximum of 10 people are allowed at public gatherings. However, the number of people who can attend an outdoor funeral has been increased to 20 people. A curfew was introduced in December. This will now operate each day between midnight and 5am. From 6th January, businesses are required to close at 11pm, rather than 10pm. In addition, personal services restrictions have been relaxed, to allow for the trimming of beards and other personal care services that require masks to be removed. Physical distancing has also been reduced in gyms from 10 feet between patrons to 6 feet.”

Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 6 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Until 20 January 2021, the number of customers permitted in a bar or restaurant or a place of worship shall not exceed 30% occupancy. Public or social gatherings are limited to 25 people if outdoors and up to 10 people where indoors. The maximum number of attendees at funerals is not to exceed 40.”

Liechtenstein (Security threat level – 1): On 6 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Liechtenstein, which reads in part as follows:

“Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Wearing a facemask is compulsory in indoor venues open to the public and when travelling on public transport. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this requirement, as are individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons.

“Restaurants, bars and nightclubs are currently closed. Workplace catering and takeaways can remain open between 6am and 11pm. All shops, markets and religious institutions are open and medical practitioners (including dentists) have resumed non-urgent treatment. Cultural, entertainment, recreational and indoor sports establishments are closed until at least 10 January 2021. Outdoor sports remain permitted, subject to compliance with social distancing measures; this includes the Malbun mountain railroads.”

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 6 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding a protest planned for 8 January, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Bourse du Travail to Monument de l’Indépendance

“Event: The Collective for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) is calling for a march on Friday, January 8, at 2:00 p.m. The purpose of the march is to demand the release of activist Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, also known as Ras Bath. The march is expected to start at the Bourse du Travail and end at the Monument de l’Indépendance. This march has not been approved by the host government.

“Demonstrations sometimes turn violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, throwing of rocks at vehicles, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire.”

The full text of the alert is available here.